LGBTQIA+ advocates welcome new Tasmanian mental health initiatives

LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Equality Tasmania and mental health advocates Working It Out have applauded the State Government’s announcement of several important LGBTIQ+ mental health initiatives.

Premier and Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Jeremy Rockliff, this week released the 2022-23 implementation plan for the state’s mental health strategy.

The strategy identifies LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians as one of three priority groups due to the much higher levels of mental health risk for this community, resulting primarily from discrimination and stigma.

The plan includes:

  • Funding to develop a Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ mental health service model
  • Funding for LGBTIQ+ inclusion training to be made mandatory for all health department employees
  • Establishing already-funded LGBTIQ+ peer navigators in the north and north west of the state
  • Assessment of all Department of Health services for LGBTIQ+ inclusion

Working It Out’s acting CEO, Olivia Hogarth, congratulates the Tasmanian Government on these initiatives.

“Working It Out welcomes a plan which addresses recommendations from both state and national reports regarding the increased mental health risks for LGBTIQ+ people,” Hogarth said.

“As Tasmania’s only dedicated LGBTIQ+ support and education service, Working It Out looks forward to working with the state government to further understand the lived experience of the LGBTIQ+ communities, recognise the gaps in the mental health sector, and develop a model that will best address those needs and gaps.”

Equality Tasmania board member, Andrew Badcock, adds that “because of discrimination and stigma, LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians, especially those who are trans and gender diverse, have some of the worst mental health outcomes in Tasmania.”

“The State Government is to be applauded for taking positive steps towards reducing the higher-than-average levels of mental health distress experienced by LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians.”

“We will continue to campaign to ensure the mental health service model the government will develop becomes a reality.”

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